DreamHack Summer enters group stage three
The first round of DreamHack Summer matches was a predictable as they come. The eliminated half of the Ro128 consisted, with a few exceptions, entirely of local Nordic representatives who quickly fell to the contenders with some renown. Not after the gong announced the beginning of the second group stage did the tournament start to get interesting.
» The minor (and major) upsets of the Ro64
-"BratOK's play was solid and had nothing in common to what we are used to seeing in the NASL 3"
The first four groups were nothing too special, but what they did was set a theme that persisted through the entire group stage #2: the one of tournament favorites getting second places. It began with Nerchio who took the runner-up spot to Naugrim, the latter having yet another great DreamHack run after finishing first in the Ro64 of Stockholm, beating even eventual champion Thorzain. It is up to Naugrim now to forget his horrible Ro32 performance during the said tournament, however, and drive his momentum to a playoffs spot. Knowing how many champions and prominent players finished second, however, being in their company would be no easy task for the Swede.
Ret was another example of the aforementioned theme and the Dutch finished second to BratOK in Group C. Russian's play was solid and had nothing in common to what we are used to seeing in the NASL 3 and he deservedly took first, going undefeated through his group, eliminating local hero Sjow in the process.
Group B was informally reduced to a Stephano/Puma duel and Daisy and freizy could do nothing else but watch their tournament lives being flushed away while the two giants fought for #1. In the same time, the all-Slavic Group D saw Fraer and Slivko advance over DieStar and Devil.
- "EG's JYP was also shown the elimination door as the Eastern European duo of DIMAGA and Titan beat him with a difference of just a single set"
As if seeing Ret, Nerchio and Puma on second place was not enough of an upset, the next four groups had even more surprises in store. In the protoss-heavy Group E, the European PvP genius Elfi lost both his mirrors to HuK and Vampire, who advanced over him and Haypro as first and second respectively. EG's JYP was also shown the elimination door as the Eastern European duo of DIMAGA and Titan beat him with a difference of just a single set.
Very similar was the situation in Group G where ToD had to pack his luggage after having lost one map more in comparison to Seiplo and the previously unknown Mini.
This second set of group stage matches finished with the dramatic Group H where Protosser ran through the competition completely unopposed, leaving Mana, Merz and qxc - all with 1-2 score - to fight for the runner up spot. The set advantage came to give Mana a hand and the other two were scratched out of the tournament.
- "After the entire map was mined out and players' existing tech was reduced to virtually nothing, Dragon had to face a scenario worthy of StarCraft Master"
Although it looked like nothing special, Group I very soon became unique to the tournament as DreamHack saw its first draw. The culprits were Cytoplasm and Dragon, who played an hour long game on Antiga Shipyard that swayed to one's or another's favor every few seconds. After the entire map was mined out and players' existing tech was reduced to virtually nothing, Dragon had to face a scenario worthy of StarCraft Master, in which he had to take down Cytoplasm's heavily defended extractor with a banshee, a medivac and a marine. As he failed to do so (and as there are no re-do's in SC2), he had to lift his buildings, float them away and call for a draw.
Cytoplasm did eventually prevail over the Korean, took first place in his group and advanced to the Ro32 together with his compatriot Morrow.
Group K also took an unexpected turn of events as reigning champion Thorzain finished second (ah, here's that again) to tournament underdog Harstem. Despite known for having beaten big names in the past, Harsterm was expected to finish behind EG's newest recruit and Millenium's Lalush but the Dutchman would have none of that and destroyed both of them and will make his Ro32 appearance once DH resumes.
- "Forsen had a great run through DH Stockholm but once again landed in yet another group of death"
Not until the final four groups did results begin lining up to community's expectations. Bly, Naniwa, Hero, Sase, Keen, LiveZerg and Welmu all advanced further cutting out whatever underdog material there was still left in the tournament.
Of the few exceptions from the latter is Forsen, who had a great run through DH Stockholm but once again landed in yet another group of death (with Hyun, Sase and Puma at DH Stockholm and HerO and Naniwa at DH Summer), making him probably the most ill-fortunate contender in the history of DreamHack SC2 tournaments.
Sadly for his fans, Forsen will go home unable to top his DH Stockholm performance where he beat Sase and Puma, contributing for the tournament elimination of the second.
» The Ro32: Groups are complete
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
» The Ro32: A short preview
Groups of death and group of opportunities. There are the only two types of pools currently available at DreamHack Summer.
Groups E, F, G and H are clearly of the first type as they contain what mey very well be the three quarters of the playoffs. Sase, Taeja, Hero, Ret, Seiplo, Titan, Thorzain, HuK, Stephano, Morrow and Nerchio are some of the brightest names on the scene but before the night is over, many of them have will have to go packing.
Thorzain, HuK, Ret and Taeja - easily four of the best players on DH grounds - have the comfortable advantage of having to play just one race for the rest of this group stage but, funnily enough, only Thorzain is particularly known for his match-up. And while one can say that Taeja got a relatively easy group with WhiteRa and Welmu in it, Ret and Huk are facing one of the strongest PvZ-ers that the scene has to offer - Hero and Stephano.
The first four groups are those of opportunities and if we exclude the almost certain playoffers Puma and Naniwa, there remains a whole bunch of players waiting for their chance to shine.
Harstem and Naugrim will be looking forward to standing atop the more known names of Mana and Bly and make it to the final bracket of a major tournament. Both took first places over incredibly difficult opponents and certainly cannot be excluded from the possible Ro16 line-up. Same goes for Cytoplasm, Fraer (who will be facing a very strong, but beatable Puma), LiveZerg and Snute and especially Mini (who are also in a group with clearly outlined favorites but not ones that are too far ahead of them in terms of current form).
And at the end of the day, opportunities are there to be seized and seized they are. DH Stockholm was one example. There is no reason why DH Summer should be any different.